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I’ve Lived in a Mediterranean Country for 10 Years. Here’s What People Get Wrong About the Mediterranean Lifestyle

Jessica Stillman
6 min readApr 9, 2024

More than 10 years ago, I gave up a long run of living in big cities like New York, San Francisco, and London and moved to Cyprus, a small, mostly Greek-speaking island in the Eastern Mediterranean. I didn’t do it for health reasons — my husband is Cypriot and his work brought us here — but as a writer who often covers health and wellness trends, I knew my move to sunny southern Europe was likely to be excellent for my health.

Science says the Mediterranean lifestyle is one of the world’s healthiest

Health recommendations have shifted often over the years. One decade butter is in and the next it’s out. Intermittent fasting is the secret to a longer lifespan according to one study and increases your chances of heart disease according to another. But while scientists debate much about health and wellness, one truth seems to have held rock steady — the Mediterranean lifestyle is among the world’s healthiest.

With its focus on whole grains, healthy fats like seafood, and lots of fruits and veggies, nutritionists tout the Mediterranean diet as one of the healthiest anywhere. A recent study by Harvard researchers even concluded the health-giving benefits of…